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Topic: Themes aka templates aka skins (Read 1358 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #25
babypout and TurtleElf

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #26
Truth is out of style

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #27
We should make Pingu responsible for doing all the smileys. :P
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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #28
Piece of cake. Already done on local. ;)

By the way, do we have any dyslexics here? Not taking the piss, but seriously. The reason I ask is because there is a fair bit of evidence that one of the main factors in their difficulty of reading online is excessive contrast between text and background. They actually find things a lot easier if the contrast is reduced to a level that makes a lot of people a bit uncomfortable. See this article for a brief run down on it.

This is why the default contrast in Elk is a bit on the low side. Originally it was an attempt to make things legible for most people but still manageable for dyslexics, who are a sizable percentage of the population. If there's a call for it, it would be easy to add an extra variant to any theme so that people who needed it could have higher contrast, and people who needed it could have lower contrast.

Not so much a "main factor" but a factor in a subset of people. The evidence I'm aware of suggests that it's not so much lightening the text is so useful so much as filtering the white background - which is the logic behind Irlen lenses.  A white background sometimes seems to be more "forward" than the black text, so people get figure-ground reversal effects - and see "rivers of white" between the words rather than the words.  A coloured background can make it recede behind the black text (for some people - and Irlen claims that each person has an optimal colour filter).

  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #29
We should make Pingu responsible for doing all the smileys. :P

Nah, that's gunner's job.  And Elka.  What happened to Elka?

  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #30
Hey thanks, Osmanthus!  Green highlighter!

Awesome.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #31
Piece of cake. Already done on local. ;)

By the way, do we have any dyslexics here? Not taking the piss, but seriously. The reason I ask is because there is a fair bit of evidence that one of the main factors in their difficulty of reading online is excessive contrast between text and background. They actually find things a lot easier if the contrast is reduced to a level that makes a lot of people a bit uncomfortable. See this article for a brief run down on it.

This is why the default contrast in Elk is a bit on the low side. Originally it was an attempt to make things legible for most people but still manageable for dyslexics, who are a sizable percentage of the population. If there's a call for it, it would be easy to add an extra variant to any theme so that people who needed it could have higher contrast, and people who needed it could have lower contrast.

Not so much a "main factor" but a factor in a subset of people. The evidence I'm aware of suggests that it's not so much lightening the text is so useful so much as filtering the white background - which is the logic behind Irlen lenses.  A white background sometimes seems to be more "forward" than the black text, so people get figure-ground reversal effects - and see "rivers of white" between the words rather than the words.  A coloured background can make it recede behind the black text (for some people - and Irlen claims that each person has an optimal colour filter).
Interesting. I'll read up on that when I have time. The reduction in contrast does seem to be helpful for a lot of dyslexics though, so I assume that it reduces the "rivers of white" effect by increasing the brightness of the text. The dyslexics themselves (or at least some of them) say that it helps stop the text "dancing" around the page if contrast is reduced.

Anyway, point is that if anyone needs a variant tweaked so they can read the fucking thing, it shouldn't be hard to arrange. :)
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  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #32
Hey thanks, Osmanthus!  Green highlighter!

Awesome.
Eh? That was there from the start. Although I do admit it was my idea, for the default theme back in alpha. I totally hate the default Windoze white-on-blue selection colours. Bloody hard on the eyes, IMO.

TBH I don't think the green really suits Storm Cloud, since there's no green anywhere else in the palette.
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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #33
No, I would have preferred not-green.  But the default was virtually invisible.  At least I can see it now.

  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #34
Piece of cake. Already done on local. ;)

By the way, do we have any dyslexics here? Not taking the piss, but seriously. The reason I ask is because there is a fair bit of evidence that one of the main factors in their difficulty of reading online is excessive contrast between text and background. They actually find things a lot easier if the contrast is reduced to a level that makes a lot of people a bit uncomfortable. See this article for a brief run down on it.

This is why the default contrast in Elk is a bit on the low side. Originally it was an attempt to make things legible for most people but still manageable for dyslexics, who are a sizable percentage of the population. If there's a call for it, it would be easy to add an extra variant to any theme so that people who needed it could have higher contrast, and people who needed it could have lower contrast.

Not so much a "main factor" but a factor in a subset of people. The evidence I'm aware of suggests that it's not so much lightening the text is so useful so much as filtering the white background - which is the logic behind Irlen lenses.  A white background sometimes seems to be more "forward" than the black text, so people get figure-ground reversal effects - and see "rivers of white" between the words rather than the words.  A coloured background can make it recede behind the black text (for some people - and Irlen claims that each person has an optimal colour filter).
Interesting. I'll read up on that when I have time. The reduction in contrast does seem to be helpful for a lot of dyslexics though, so I assume that it reduces the "rivers of white" effect by increasing the brightness of the text. The dyslexics themselves (or at least some of them) say that it helps stop the text "dancing" around the page if contrast is reduced.

Anyway, point is that if anyone needs a variant tweaked so they can read the fucking thing, it shouldn't be hard to arrange. :)

Yabbut, I don't know of any evidence that lightening the text helps - the evidence I'm aware of is filtering the white.

Full disclosure: I did my PhD on this crap :(

But yes to accessible options.  If people find lighter text helps, great.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #35
Ok, well on local it now has this:

Code: [Select]
::-moz-selection {
background: #c1d6e9;
color: #222;
}
::selection {
background: #c1d6e9;
color: #222;
}
Can try it out if you like. Just enter those hex codes in the background and foreground boxes here: http://blackwidows.co.uk/resources/color-contrast-analyser.php
Truth is out of style

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #36
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Yabbut, I don't know of any evidence that lightening the text helps - the evidence I'm aware of is filtering the white.

Full disclosure: I did my PhD on this crap :(

But yes to accessible options.  If people find lighter text helps, great.
Ok, so maybe the ones who are saying lighter text helps are only being given the option of lighter text, and not being given the option of different coloured backgrounds. Dunno. Maybe that testing is skewed.
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  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #37
Oh there's a bit more on it here. I knew there was more somewhere: http://blackwidows.co.uk/blog/2006/10/06/more-on-dyslexia/
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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #38
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Yabbut, I don't know of any evidence that lightening the text helps - the evidence I'm aware of is filtering the white.

Full disclosure: I did my PhD on this crap :(

But yes to accessible options.  If people find lighter text helps, great.
Ok, so maybe the ones who are saying lighter text helps are only being given the option of lighter text, and not being given the option of different coloured backgrounds. Dunno. Maybe that testing is skewed.


Well, there are probably lots of contributing things, and anecdote in fact, the singular of data, contrary to popular meme.

And it could be that current theories as to why text "jiggles" for some people is wrong.  Or incomplete.  In fact I know some of it is wrong and it is definitely incomplete.  But the filters do seem to work for some people, and they don't make text lighter, they reduce the amount and narrow-band frequency of the background.  One theory is that the reason text jiggles is because some people have a poor "forward model" of what will be on the retina following the next saccade, and the next saccade metrics are driven by the magnocullar/dorsal visual system which is more sensitive to large spatial frequencies than small.  And the spaces between text  have large spatial frequencies than the text.  So there may be a tendency for the visual system to "aim" for the space rather than the next unit of text, and have to do a bigger adjustment to foveate the text.  Which results in perceived "jiggle."  There's some evidence to support this, heh, though it hasn't been replicated, to my knowledge.

Hey, the green highlight has gone back to faintest grey again.

:babypout:

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #39
Still green for me. You're not wearing those funny lenses, are you? :D

And I'm going to have to look up half the words you just used before I'll know WTF you're talking about.
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  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #40
Ok professor, help the laypeople out a bit here. Your post reads sorta like this to me:

Well, there are probably lots of contributing things, and anecdote in fact, the singular of data, contrary to popular meme.

And it could be that current theories as to why text "jiggles" for some people is wrong.  Or incomplete.  In fact I know some of it is wrong and it is definitely incomplete.  But the filters do seem to work for some people, and they don't make text lighter, they reduce the amount and narrow-band frequency *slartibartfast* of the background.  One theory is that the reason text jiggles is because some people have a poor "forward model" of what will be on the retina following the next saccade *fjords*, and the next saccade metrics *look at my horse* are driven by the magnocullar/dorsal visual system *my horse is amazing* which is more sensitive to large spatial frequencies *beautiful plumage* than small.  And the spaces between text have large spatial frequencies *beautiful plumage* than the text.  So there may be a tendency for the visual system to "aim" for the space rather than the next unit of text, and have to do a bigger adjustment to foveate *bloviate* the text.  Which results in perceived "jiggle."  There's some evidence to support this, heh, though it hasn't been replicated, to my knowledge.
:D
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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #41
OK.  Well, one puzzle about the visual system is why the world appears to stay still when you move your eyes.  The image on the retina is constantly flicking to a different position, yet we see the world as stable.  However, if you manually move your eyeball (e.g. by pressing on your eyeball through the lid, it looks as though the world is moving.  So there must be some mechanism by which, when we move our eyes using the normal eye movement muscles, the brain compensates for the movement, so we perceive the world as staying still.  We know it must be something to do with the commands to those muscles, because manually moving the eyeball makes the world jiggle.

One well supported theory is that when the system "plans" a saccadic eye movement (the kind that jumps suddenly, which we do all the time), the brain takes that plan (direction, size of jump) and calculates what the world will look like after the saccade (that's the forward model).  Then, once the saccade is made, only a slight adjustment is needed in the light of what the world actually looks like at that point.

And we know this, because we can do experiments in which we trick the visual system about what the world will look like after the saccade, and produce quite neat illusions that way. 

We proposed that maybe the reason words jiggle for some people with dyslexia is that this system doesn't work very well. So the world appears to move around the time of a saccade.  And we found that people with dyslexia tended not to show that illusion.  As the illusion is the result of the forward modelling, it was nice support for our theory.

And the system that drives the planning of saccadic eye movements is called the "dorsal" system (because the pathways run over the top of the brain cf dorsal fin), as opposed to the "ventral" system, which runs underneath.  It's also called the "magnocellular system" because the cells involved are larger (as opposed to the parvocellular system.  It's also called the "where" pathway, because it's specialised for telling us WHERE things are, rather than WHAT they are.

Basically the system is designed only to process WHAT something is (which often needs fine detail) when you are fixating it (it's image is on the fovea - the high resolution part of the retina).  Which only subtends about 2 degrees of arc.  So to see a whole picture, the system has to keep flashing the eyes around the place like a flashlight.  But how does it know where to point?  Well, it knows where to point because the WHERE system is sensitive to the broad-brush shape of things things and moving things - and not especially to colour. So when something important looms in peripheral vision, we automatically make a saccadic eye movement.  The WHERE  system says "Somethign to check out over THERE" and shifts gaze so that the WHAT system can check it out.

So the idea is that the spaces between words for some people might attract the WHERE system (because they have a characteristic broad brush shape) rather than the text (which is has high resolution detail to distinguish characters that are broadly similar).  So people will make a faulty "forward model", and have to make a bigger catch-up adjustment.  Or, more simply, the whole forward model may not work so well.

Hope that makes more sense.

Can't proofread it very well because the grey test is a bit light for me :)  But I can't stand the default green.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #42
That makes more sense. Thanks. So next question is how would using a coloured background reduce the problem? Any ideas on the mechanism there?
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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #43
That makes more sense. Thanks. So next question is how would using a coloured background reduce the problem? Any ideas on the mechanism there?

Well, it could reduce the salience of the white stuff.  Less stimulating to the WHERE pathway. The Irlen people thing that specific filters work for specific people - it could be that there are some frequencies that their WHERE pathways are less sensitive to.  But nobody has a very clear idea.  I just find it interesting that people talk about the "rivers of white".  I had one participant in one of my studies for whom yellow worked really well.  He tried to describe the effect.  He seemed to be saying that it made the black text look as though it was hovering above the background, where without it it looked as though the black was holes in the background.  And I've talked to some other people with similar descriptions. And they also often say, it makes the letters "stand still".

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #44
That description ties in with the people who say excessive contrast makes the letters "dance". Were you using black text in the tests, as in #000000? Did you try other colours for text?

Personally I find black text on a white background to be really nasty. I can read it, but it's not pleasant to read. About #333 is my limit for comfort, and I much prefer something around #555 as long as the font size is adequate.
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  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #45
I'm fond of slightly off-white backgrounds with black text. Eggshell or ivory or a pale sand.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #46
Even then I don't really like black text. Not real black black, as in #000 hex. A very dark grey is much nicer IMO.

BTW Pingu, Storm Cloud has been tweaked a bit now.
  • Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 04:35:38 PM by osmanthus
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  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #47
Thanks, Osmanthus!

Could you also tweak the text in the comment box? That's still really really pale, and that's the relevant bit for proof-reading.  Also the way live links show up is almost invisible to me.  Just a faint underline.

  • Pingu
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #48
Blue highlight for selected text is pretty though :)

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Themes aka templates aka skins
Reply #49
Not sure what you mean about the comment box.

Try a Ctrl+F5 and see how you like the links now.
  • Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 01:59:40 AM by osmanthus
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